I am so jetlagged that I am about to fall asleep in a messy pile on my bed, but I can't resist posting a few pictures from my recent trip to China. As always, I was especially interested in the food there, and I feel that I will be writing many posts in the coming weeks about the Chinese way of eating. Asian food is so vast and so varied, it is delightful and bewildering at once. And I am just beginning to scratch the surface.

To those who were concerned: this trip was just the respite that I needed from my research job, and the criticisms that I face there. Tomorrow I'm talking to my supervisor again, and we'll see how things can go from here on out. Deep inside I still feel like there is something wrong with this entire situation -- the way that I see myself is so different from how they see me -- but I also know that, regardless of how "right" I think I am, I am the one who has to change. I once heard mental health defined as the ego's ability to respond with flexibility to new situations; I hope that here I can be flexible, but I know that I also need courage and selflessness to take on this challenge without feeling resentful towards the people who are demanding it of me. These are the ordinary ups and downs of life, I remind myself, as I remember that for a long time I wasn't brave enough or capable enough of looking my problems in the face. It is a lot easier to down one's sorrows in food or exercise, then to sit quietly with one's anxiety and let it run its course, as I have over the last few weeks. But this is recovery, and I would not have it any other way.


ania said...

Dear Ai Lu,

I'm so glad that you made it safely home.

I've given a great deal of thought to your last post. In a personal way - so thanks for inspiring that.

Also, will you identify the little peppers in the foreground of the top photograph? And, are those little eel in the container down below?

I look forward to your upcoming series on Chinese eating and food.

With warmth....

Ai Lu said...


I am not sure what the little peppers are -- I just love the shape! And yes, you're right -- those are eels swimming in the container. I'll write about this kind of restaurant in a future post.

Thank you for your kindness after my last post. It is heartening to have readers like you!

Ai Lu

Emily Jolie said...

Dearest Ai Lu,

It is so good to read that you have been exploring new ways of dealing with anxieties and other unsettling feelings.

Since this post is already almost a couple of weeks old, I wonder how things have developed with your supervisors since then.

Should you ever need a listening ear or someone to bounce thoughts off of, please know that you can always email or call me!

with love,